Sunday, May 30, 2010

Spring Watch May 30, 2010 - Spring Edges Into Summer

This is likely the last of the Spring Watch series for 2010. In the nearby National Forest one is able to escape the mechanical noise and technological intrusions that hound and haunt modern life. Nature is a place of quiet sounds (rustling leaves and trickling water), fresh scents of wildflower and pine and dappled sunlight spilling and splashing through thick green canopies.

As promised, the photos show Mountain Laurel, found growing along stream beds, and the ravines where water courses down the mountainsides. The ones pictured are the whiter shades, will add a shot of the pinker if I get the chance...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Spring Watch May 25, 2010 - Rosey Welcome

The rose bushes near the vineyard entrance are in bloom. They are a showy welcome for our visitors. Occasionally, in late afternoon, among the long silhouettes cast by trees combing long shafts of golden sunlight, the setting sun smiles on a vibrant rose. Color bursts into flame for only a minute or two before retreating into the muted shadows.

The Mountain Laurel are blooming in the forest; clouds of the palest pink blush in the deep woods. I hope they will endure for a photograph. Maybe this weekend?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Stoney Creek Planning

These photos, diagrams and comments are being posted to aid planning at our Stoney Creek Vineyard. Photographs can be enlarged by clicking on them. Removal of a section of vineyard with less-than-ideal soil and climate conditions is being considered.

In discussing end-post configuration, consideration is being given to setting end-posts at a 60 degree angle from the slope of the terrain. If the terrain has varying degrees of slope, this will result in posts having variable lean with respect to one another. The top diagram shows an exaggerated example of the phenomenon. A fixed degree of angle from vertical will correct the problem, e.g. 30 degrees from vertical. The bottom diagram shows end-posts set 0 degrees from vertical, the more traditional method of setting posts.

Line-posts to be removed and replaced by end-posts are marked with ribbon. This is looking across the rows. Area to be removed is about 3 acres, running from the marked line-posts, across the vineyard to roughly the edge of shadow, then left at row #32. Terrain topography is indicated by the relative difference in post elevation seen in the photograph. The shadowed area in the foreground is a frost pocket with relatively low-lying topography.

End-post and anchor-post have been pulled to show depth of burial (~3 ft.). Anchor-post is half a full post cut diagonally to allow additional height. One 8' post yields two anchor posts. Because of the diagonal cut, each anchor-post is approximately 4 1/2' in length.

Photo showing end-post configuration consisting of end-post, anchor-post and wiring. Plans are to move these posts uphill, shortening the rows and removing section of vineyard subject to frost damage.

This photo is taken from the top of row #32, last row to be shortened, looking down toward vineyard area to be removed. Slope in the foreground is very visible. Posts make visible topography of the terrain. Broad, low, flat area lying at the foot of the hill is a frost pocket, subject to spring frosts occurring after bud break. The low area also has poor drainage, with developing sinkholes and damp soil. Other areas of the vineyard have good slope, good air drainage and better soil conditions.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Rebel Red Unleashed

Rebel Red was bottled and released May 8, 2010, just in time for Mother's Day. Number of cases bottled was 460. Customers were anxious to taste the new bottling, and did not hesitate to give grief to the winemaker during the couple weeks they were forced to go without the wine.

The photo shows a thank-you note and photograph from a much appreciative group. The out-of-town group visits the winery annually while staying the weekend in a cabin in Fort Valley. We are happy to be a part of their gathering while they make a ruckus on the top deck. The winemaker is wiping sweat off his brow, relieved to provide the necessary ingredient for the group's happiness.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Mother's Day Wine Pairing, Sunday, May 9

Shenandoah Vineyards will host a wine and food pairing on Mother's Day, Sunday, May 9, 2010. We invite Mom and the rest of the family for a visit. Our wine will be paired with gourmet snack items. Come to the winery to mix and socialize over delicious wine and food. Spring is in full swing, so get out and soak up some sunshine (we have outdoor decks and picnic tables). Event lasts all day during our open hours (10 AM - 6 PM). A wonderful time is only $8/person. For more information call 540 984 8699.